Windhammer, Copyright Wayne Densley 2001 - 2007 All Rights Reserved


Upon the western road you bring Pallenten to a halt and consider which way to go. The Ring of Stones can be a reasonable camping ground and fresh water for Pallenten is close at hand, but it will take you out of your way. To the south lay your goal and you know the closer you are to the object of your journey, the better you will feel. This is the way you must go.
In the growing darkness you set out for the still visible bulk of the Devkraager Tor. It is a vast brooding shape sitting heavily on the southern horizon, its snow-capped summit still glowing red from the last rays of sunset. Ahead the landscape is open and wild, a vast grassland little travelled by Men and unknown to most. As you ride you can feel the effects of the storm, the ground is saturated with water, the air crisp and cool. On Pallenten's back the cold bites into your clothing, it is uncomfortable and it does nothing to help the dull ache that still radiates from your shoulder, but in the growing darkness it helps keep you awake and alert.
With only the dark-red beacon of the mountains summit to guide you, and the dim light of the moon to find your way, you travel on. The plains are flat, a vast expanse only rarely cut by small areas of forest and lines of low hills that roll off to the west and east. In this darkness you will need to find a place to rest soon.
Suddenly to the east you see the glint of a reflection. In the glow of the newly risen moon something metallic has glimmered in the darkness. Coming to a halt you dismount from Pallenten and command her to the ground. Obediently she lowers herself to the soft earth and lays on her side. Crouching next to her you scan the grassland, trying to pick up some hint as to the source of the reflection. Pallenten lays silent, and in the quiet that follows the sounds of many feet shuffling toward you is clearly audible above the rustle of the grasses and the call of night birds. Looking eastwards you see, cresting the rise of a low hill, a number of small creatures in two lines making directly towards your position. They are nothing more than dark shapes silhouetted against the moon at their back, but they are unmistakably Hordim. Outlined by the rising moon you can see that they carry small packs and short spears, they are moving as an ordered patrol and are being very careful not to leave any sign of their passing.
For some time you watch as they file toward you then abruptly stop. The lead creature sniffs the air and considers the available landmarks before making a short comment to one of his compatriots. A brief conversation ensues before the leader points off to the north-west and sends the patrol in that direction. Luckily they miss you by a good two hundred metres and disappear slowly into the gloom of the north. Until you are sure that they have passed from your sight you do not move, but eventually you must risk standing on the plain and find that they have indeed moved on. Judging by their new direction you can guess that they are making for the Ring of Stones, for what purpose you cannot tell.
Raising Pallenten from the soft earth you remount and get back on your way. From the north a strong wind has started to blow, flattening the long grasses and sending an even stronger chill through the air. With Pallenten again racing across the plain you put as much distance as possible between yourself and the small creatures. It has been a long day though, and you know you will not be able to go on much further.

Turn to section 244.

This book, and its associated books and other documents in the Chronicles of Arborell series are the intellectual property of the author, Wayne F Densley, and all rights are reserved by him. Windhammer is best viewed at 1024 x 768 resolution. Any questions regarding the Chronicles of Arborell can be answered by emailing the author at densleyw@shoal.net.au
Windhammer, Copyright Wayne Densley 2001 - 2007 All Rights Reserved